May 17, 2012 / 5:55 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Honda to assemble hybrids in Thailand-Nikkei

May 18 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co plans to assemble the hybrid version of its Fit subcompact outside Japan for the first time, Japanese business daily the Nikkei said.

Japan’s third-biggest carmaker will assemble the 1.3-liter car in Thailand, its key production site in Asia, with an eye on exporting it to neighboring nations, the daily said.

The company plans to launch the assembled car locally as the Jazz Hybrid in the summer, the newspaper said.

Currently, all Fit Hybrids, with sales of about 86,000 units in 2011, are manufactured in Japan, the Nikkei said.

Honda’s move is aimed at reducing production costs and tapping local demand for fuel-efficient vehicles through competitive pricing, the Japanese business daily.

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